The Parish of Croick
Following the end of the Napoleonic Wars the Westminster
Parliament as a thank offering for victory, voted funds for the
building of forty-three churches and manses (to become known as 'Parliamentary
Churches' in those remote parts of the Highlands where the local landlords were
prepared to provide the sites. The designs chosen were those of the famous engineer Thomas
Telford, the builder of the Caledonian Canal. The Government also agreed to provide
stipends of £120 a year for the ministers of the new parishes.
Croick, which lies some 10 miles west of Ardgay up
Strathcarron, was offered by the Rosses of Balnagown as a site for one of those churches,
possibly because it was already a well established preaching station. A Pictish broch was
incorporated within the boundaries of the glebe.
The building of the church was completed in 1827 at a
cost of £1,426 and its first minister, Robert Williamson, was inducted in September 1828.
He remained until 1840 when he emigrated to Nova Scotia taking some of his congregation
At first the Church served a community of over 200 souls.
However upon the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843 most of the parishioners
followed their then minister, Gustavus Aird, into the Free Church. Membership of the
Croick Established Church was thereby reduced to two families but it remained in being as
a separate charge until 1946. It was then united with the parish of Kincardine (Ardgay) as
it so remains today.